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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Farm and Ranch Tax Working Group Formed

LAS CRUCES-A working group to review alternative means of determining farm and ranch property tax levels was formed Thursday, Dec. 21 by Jerry Schickedanz, dean of New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The state Taxation and Revenue department's Property Tax Division recently delayed implementation of proposed year 2000 values of farm and ranch tax assessments by country assessors for one year as a result of feedback at community meetings with agricultural producers across the state.

James Libbin, professor of agricultural economics and agricultural business at NMSU, conducted meetings under contract with the Taxation and Revenue department to explain how implementation would affect agricultural property and livestock assessments.

"I think these meetings exposed some potential weaknesses in long-standing statutes and regulations that dictate how numbers are derived that go into determining taxes," Schickedanz said.

He said the working group, which will include Libbin, has a lot of feedback from the meetings to assess. The group includes three other faculty from Libbin's department-Allen Torell, John Fowler, and Jerry Hawkes-plus Jeff Witte, assistant director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and representatives from the agricultural industry and lending institutions.

Schickedanz said this is not a totally new situation for the college, which was involved in determining updates on state grazing fees and other state policy matters.

"We can have some preliminary recommendations in early to mid-January that will foster confidence in a realistic and fair assessment determination," Schickedanz said